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AB InBev is leading the industry with world’s largest voluntary beer guidance labeling initiative to promote Smart Drinking


The label on your favorite AB InBev beer is more than creative packaging — it tells you what’s inside, where it was made — and now — how to make smart choices while enjoying our products.

In the world’s largest voluntary guidance labeling initiative ever undertaken by a beer, wine or spirits company, AB InBev aims to positively influence consumer behavior by providing informative guidance labels on all our beer bottles and cans in the world, including the 26 countries where there is no legal mandate for label warnings.

Harnessing the power of packaging
Drinking beer is a social occasion and as the world’s leading brewer we want every experience with beer to be a positive one.

AB InBev is leading the way to promote responsible consumption — or what we call “Smart Drinking.” We are using the core strengths of our business and investing in evidence-based initiatives and ‘social norms’ marketing, where we tap into the emotional connections people have with our brands to help promote moderation and influence positive behaviors, such as eating before or during drinking, drinking water or non-alcoholic beer between drinks, planning transportation before drinking and having designated drivers. As a key touchpoint with consumers, product labels offer another opportunity to provide actionable advice and reinforce Smart Drinking messages and behaviors.

A Smart Drinking guidance label for Eagle Dark from Nile Breweries in Uganda.

“Our local breweries are an integral part of our communities,” said John Blood, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer, AB InBev. “Placing guidance labels on 100% of our beer cans and bottles in all markets where we brew our beers, including the 26 countries where mandatory labeling is not required is one more way our Smart Drinking initiatives can help make a positive, lasting impact in the places where we live and work.”

Five elements to promote positive behaviors

In 2018, the AB InBev Foundation engaged researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine to develop an open-source beer guidance labeling strategy to facilitate informed consumer decision-making and prompt positive behavioral change. This led to the development of our guidance labels, which include:

  1. Actionable advice: Our labels include clear messages promoting specific behaviors such as “Don’t drink and drive”, “Eat before or while drinking alcohol” or “Alternate your drinks with non-alcoholic drinks”.

  2. Visual icons: Three graphics deter underage drinking, drinking while pregnant and drunk driving.

  3. : We feature the address of our consumer information website where users can learn how to reduce harmful drinking.

  4. Legibility: We follow strict text, font and other requirements to ensure labels are highly visible and easy to read.

  5. Alcohol By Volume (ABV): Our labels clearly show the ABV of the beer.

Secondary packaging, such as six-pack cartons and shrink wraps, feature bigger, bolder Smart Drinking messages promoting drinking slowly, drinking water between beers and eating while drinking.

More than labels: Our holistic approach to shift norms and behaviors

Since 2016, we have invested over 700 million USD to support initiatives like guidance labels, evidence-based community programs, and social norms marketing. We believe that steps like these demonstrate that it is possible to use our core areas of expertise to support the United Nations Sustainable Developments Goals to reduce harmful consumption of alcohol globally.

As affirmed in a case study from Georgetown University, AB InBev has been and continues to be recognized as an industry leader for our pioneering efforts and significant investment in Smart Drinking initiatives.

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